The Croatian public prosecutor’s office has brought charges of perjury against Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric relating to his testimony during the 2017 corruption trial against former Dinamo Zagreb executive director Zdravko Mamic, according to a report in Croatian daily Vecernji list.
The prosecutor has claimed that Modric may have altered his testimony in relation to earlier statements provided during the Croatian authorities’ investigation into Mamic and three others over the alleged embezzlement of up to 15 million euros from the sale of Dinamo players to clubs abroad in addition to charges of tax fraud totalling 1.5 million euros.
Perjury carries a jail sentence of between six months and five years under Croatian law.
Modric deal to Tottenham under the microscope
Modric was sold to Tottenham Hotspur by Dinamo in 2008 for a fee of around 23 million euros, half of which was due to go to Modric due to a clause in his contract ceding 50 percent of his rights to the player.
“I think Dinamo received 21 or 23 million euros for my transfer to Tottenham. Part of that money was paid to me based on a clause in my contract that I signed with Dinamo that divided that amount 50-50. I agreed this with Mr Mamic,” Modric said during his testimony at the trial.
The player also indicated that he had personally handed the money over to Mamic after withdrawing it from the bank in several tranches. According to Mamic’s version of events, there was a secret annex in Modric’s contract ceding a large part of the money for his transfer to the then-Dinamo executive director.
However, the public prosecutor’s office considers that this secret clause was added after Modric’s transfer and was simply a legal trick to permit Mamic to claim part of the transfer fee. The Croatian authorities have accused the national team captain of altering his testimony during the trial compared to his original statement to favour Mamic by stating that he signed the annex in question in 2004. When questioned in 2015, the player stated that he had penned the clause after joining Spurs.